President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF want to frustrate other partners in the inclusive government and bulldoze their way to early elections, analysts warned last week.
But others said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should not be swayed by Zanu PF’s theatrics, saying this was just their usual bravado each time South African facilitators jetted into town.
Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF’s chief negotiator to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) shocked the nation when he told State media last Wednesday his party had lost faith in the GPA forum of negotiators and called for the establishment of other platforms to deal with outstanding issues.
Chinamasa reportedly said the Zanu PF negotiators made it clear to the facilitation team the forum for negotiators to resolve outstanding issues had failed.
“It is clear the MDC-T has withdrawn their co-operation from implementing negotiated and agreed positions,” Chinamasa said.
“We no longer have the energy, inclination or willingness to maintain the team of negotiators as a forum of resolving any disagreements,” he was quoted as having said.
Last Wednesday, South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team of Charles Nqakula and Lindiwe Zulu met in Harare with the negotiating teams of Patrick Chinamasa and Jonathan Moyo (Zanu PF), Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma (MDC-T) and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Moses Mzila-Ndlovu (MDC).
Political observer Blessing Vava said: “It seems Zanu PF is pushing for an election and they are trying hard to frustrate the MDC. They have been on record as saying the GNU is an awkward arrangement and that is testimony they want to rule alone.
“They tried to push an election this year, but failed and this time around they are employing unorthodox means to frustrate their partners in the government hence they are pushing for an election.
“They have a crisis of succession due to (President) Mugabe’s deteriorating health and age, so the sooner the polls are conducted the better for them to deal with the succession of (President) Mugabe.”
Mutare-based political observer Shingai Chimwaza said it was clear Zanu PF was yearning for one-party rule in Zimbabwe and was now frustrating its partners in the inclusive government.
“I believe Zanu PF is playing at sending signals to MDC-T as well as to the electorate that nothing has changed in as far as who holds power is concerned and they will rather be their old self as we approach the elections,” Chimwaza said from Mutare.
He said the inclusion of Jonathan Moyo in Wednesday’s meeting of parties and Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team was an indication Zanu PF was now spoiling for a confrontational approach.
Chinamasa justified Moyo’s presence at the meeting saying he attended in place of Nicholas Goche and Emmerson Mnangagwa who were reportedly not available.
MDC-T spokesperson in Harare Obert Gutu said: “Zanu PF realise that they cannot win a free and fair election since all the stakes are heavily against them. They now want to provoke the MDC-T and the generality of the people.
“When Zanu PF is cornered, as is the case right now, they habitually resort to their weapon of choice.”
Others believe the MDC-T should ignore Zanu PF threats.
“I think it’s the usual Zanu PF bravado ahead of a visit by the facilitation team and we should not pay serious attention to it,” said Charles Mangongera, a Harare–based political analyst.